What’s the story?
With Indian captain, Virat Kohli claiming that his 'friendship' comment was aimed at only a couple of players and not the entire Australian team, his counterpart Steven Smith has responded by insisting that he didn’t know if he was one of those two blacklisted names.
On the sidelines of a promotional event for Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS), Smith said, “I don't know if I am one of those couple of players Virat was hinting at in his tweet today. That is for Virat to answer. For me, the series is done and dusted and India have outplayed us. I am now ready to lead a new bunch of team at the Pune Supergiant.”
Earlier in the day, Kohli had tweeted:
1/2 My answer at the post match conference has been blown way out of proportion. I did not categorically say the whole Australian team but— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) March 30, 2017
2/2only a couple of individuals.I continue to be in good terms with the few guys I know & who I've played with at RCB & that doesn't change.— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) March 30, 2017
The heart of the matter
Before the 2017 Border-Gavaskar Trophy began, Kohli had affirmed that he shared a good equation with the Australian players. However, those friendships would not come in the way of his on-field aggressive demeanour. During the course of the four-match series, the relations between the two sides started to sour as plenty of acrimonious incidents threatened to create a wedge between them.
Eventually, India clinched a hard-fought series 2-1 and managed to claim the full set of Test trophies. At the end of the final Test in Dharamsala, Kohli declared that he was proven wrong as the equation between himself and the Australian players had taken a turn for the worse.
Later, he took to Twitter to clarify his position and mentioned that his blacklist contained only a couple of players. As the Indian captain chose not to reveal those names, Smith was asked if he was one of the two. Not surprisingly, he left that answer to his counterpart.
It is highly unlikely that Kohli will disclose the two Australian players blacklisted from his hand of friendship. Meanwhile, the focus will soon shift to the Indian Premier League which begins on April 5. While the Royal Challengers Bangalore captain is all but ruled out of the first few games, Smith will kick start Rising Pune Supergiant’s campaign against Mumbai Indians on the 6th.
Kohli’s post-match comments generated massive backlash thus forcing him to explain his stance on Twitter. Being the captain of the Indian team and one of the popular faces in the modern game, it becomes highly imperative for him to forget his grudges with those two Australian cricketers. With Smith apologising for his actions, he could accept them and move on.